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Attorney: Appears Kentucky violated judge’s order when it purchased a drug used in lethal injections

Sodium thiopental

Sodium thiopental

From The Lexington Herald Leader‘s “Lawyer seeks to stop Ky. from using execution drug“:

Kentucky appears to have violated a judge’s order stopping all executions and preventing the state from taking any action to carry out a lethal injection by purchasing a key drug used in the process, an attorney for several death row inmates said Thursday.Public defender David Barron wants to bar the state from ever using the 18 grams of sodium thiopental the state acquired this month.

Despite a national shortage of sodium thiopental, Kentucky bought enough of the fast-acting narcotic from a Georgia company to carry out three lethal injections. The packaging indicated the drug was made by Sandoz International GmbH, a European generics company, Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet spokeswoman Jennifer Brislin said. The packaging had an expiration date of May 2014.

In two filings in Franklin Circuit Court, Barron said that by even purchasing the drug, Kentucky violated the injunction handed down in September by Judge Phillip Shepherd. The Kentucky Supreme Court is reviewing a judge’s order in one case regarding the state’s lethal injection procedures and has halted all executions in the interim.

Barron also alleges that the chemical composition of sodium thiopental produced in Europe doesn’t meet the standards for the drug set by the Food and Drug Administration.

What does it say about Kentucky’s values that our government in Frankfort is cutting all sorts of services now in an attempt to balance the state’s budget, yet it was able to pull together the funds to buy a drug—possibly illegally—for the explicit purpose of killing people?

Photo: Courtesy Wikimedia

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